Iraq rejects MKO claim that families are Iranian intelligence officers

DIALA – Twenty Iranian intelligence officers entered Iraqi territories to head for Camp Ashraf of the anti-Iran group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran in Diala, a PMOI source said on Saturday.

“Twenty Iranian intelligence officers arrived in Camp Ashraf with the aid of the Iraqi government and are residing inside caravans parallel to the camp walls in al-Azim, al-Khalis district, (15 km) north of Baaquba,” Mahdi Aqbaie told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

“Those officers, who are being protected by the Iraqi security forces in charge of the facility security, were brought near the camp in order to press its residents to leave Iraqi territories,” Aqbaie added.

Meanwhile, an official security source in Diala dismissed the reports.

“The camp is void of any elements belonging to the Iranian intelligence otherwise this could be deemed as violation of national sovereignty,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.

The PMOI, also known by the abbreviations MKO and MEK, is a militant socialist organization that advocates the overthrow of Iran’s current government. Founded in 1965, the PMOI was originally devoted to armed struggle against the Shah of Iran, capitalism and Western imperialism.

The group officially renounced violence in 2001 and today it is the main organization in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an “umbrella coalition” parliament-in-exile that claims to be dedicated to a democratic, secular and coalition government in Iran.

The PMOI has had thousands of its members for many years in bases in Iraq, but they were disarmed in the wake of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and are said to have adhered to a ceasefire. Its armed wing is, or was, called the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA)

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein dedicated Camp Ashraf in Diala province, northeast of Baghdad, to host the PMOI members since the 1980s.

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